- Associated Press - Thursday, August 14, 2014

MOUNT VERNON, S.D. (AP) - Neighbors of a large hog farm in Davison County are complaining about the smell, but the company managing the facility says it has done everything it can to diminish the odor.

The county approved a permit for the $13 million Jackrabbit Farms in 2012, and the 5,000-sow operation started production south of Mount Vernon last year.

Neighbor Lyle Reimnitz said company representatives told him before construction that the facility would smell less than 2 percent of the time, and that hasn’t been the case.

“I’m going to have to live there. I don’t plan on dying any time today,” Reimnitz said. “And I will not live with that stench in my yard.”

Barry Kerkaert, a veterinarian with facility manager Pipestone System, said officials never promised that Jackrabbit Farms would be odor-free. Pipestone attorney Sean Simpson said the company has done what the county and neighbors have asked, including spending $30,000 on biofilters.

“What I suspect is that we’re in a position where we’ll never fully satisfy the neighbors of the smell,” Simpson said. “Until there’s scientific data supporting some of this, we’re not just going to spend money every month or year to try to meet these unreasonable requests.”

The two sides met with county commissioners on Tuesday but commissioners took no action, The Daily Republic newspaper reported (https://bit.ly/VmsMN9 ).

“We know something needs to be done,” Commissioner Denny Kiner said after the meeting. “I think that Jackrabbit is now aware of the situation and I don’t know if that was the case before. I think they see that there is a problem.”

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Information from: The Daily Republic, https://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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